What started as a mere observation of suffering and need, sparked right from children’s cancer ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), ended up big on Saturday, when gospel musician Patience Namadingo and his team donated K15 million to the hospital.
As the time ticked 9.15am, Namadingo and some of the sponsors of his cancer initiative were set for a big walk from Kamuzu Upper Stadium to QECH, with the Police Band leading the procession on the Masauko Chipembere Highway.
The trumpets and thrashing of the snare drums produced sharp joined sound, which made the Police Band shine and attract the attention of onlookers on Blantyre’s busiest dual boulevard. Patrons danced and marched to the sound, all the way from the Kamuzu Upper Stadium to QECH, where presentation of a dummy cheque was held before a thrilled diverse audience, including some QECH officials.
Aside from sponsors and Namandingo’s team, the march was patronised by other well-known figures such as former Blantyre City mayor Noel Chalamanda and his wife Pempho.
According to Peter Mazunda, one of the coordinators of the initiative, the march was aimed at creating awareness on children’s cancer in the country.
Courtesy of FDH Bank, one of the key sponsors of Namadingo’s initiative, the artist staged a live performance before making the donation. Patrons enjoyed the short live show which, among other exciting things, saw Namadingo dishing out Msati Mseke in different genres such as pasada and reggae.
There was excitement when Namadingo finally presented the dummy cheque to QECH officials.
“It has been an interesting journey, which we have walked together, to reach this end. Today, I am excited to communicate to you that together we have raised K15 million for the children’s cancer ward. This figure has proved our potential that we can be a solution to challenges that are affecting us today,” said Namadingo.
The cancer initiative was launched in March, with a target of K1.2 million in 40 days, but it reached the record K15 million.
Receiving the donation on behalf QECH, deputy hospital director Linly Chewele hailed Namadingo and sponsors of his children’s cancer initiative.
“This donation will go a long way to improve the condition of the children’s cancer ward. Namadingo and sponsors of his initiative have done a great job to rescue children at our hospital,” said Chewele.
But the initiative failed to accomplish one of its desired objectives, which was to have the country’s President Peter Mutharika append his signature on Namadingo’s guitar. The musician attributed the development to communication problems.
“Indeed, I reserved the front part of the guitar for the President’s signature but, unfortunately, this didn’t materialise because his office could not respond to our letter. But, all in all, we are happy that we have accomplished what we wanted. After all, this is good for our country. As a musician, I have a right and responsibility to contribute to the development of the country,” he said. n